From the Editor – November

Posted on Nov 1, 2010 :: Editor
Margaret LeBrun
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Margaret LeBrun

When you have passion for what you do, it comes through. Marty Lenss is passionate about planes – or, shall I say, about getting people on planes from the place that’s closest to their business. The Outagamie County Regional Airport executive director has been tracking trends in the airline and airport industries closely. There’s no question he and marketing director Kim Sippola have been shaking things up at ATW since they’ve been at the helm these past few years. That’s a good thing, since their industry has seen cut-throat competition.

A commercial airport is absolutely vital to keeping a local economy vibrant. Few people realize that if an airline “adds” a flight to one airport, it results in a loss at an airport somewhere else. The price of an airline ticket is dictated by the airline industry, so the most aggressive airport directors do whatever it takes to keep passenger counts up.

To that end, Lenss and Sippola have met with business community leaders about the challenges they face. They’ve made the case for flying local: It saves time and hassle, and when you do the math on all the costs associated with driving to a metropolitan airport a few hours away (gas, parking, tolls, etc.), not to mention lost work hours blown on the road, it can save money, too.

Through the efforts of Lenss and Sippola, the airport recently hosted an open house to showcase the renovation of the new Platinum Flight Center (formerly Max-Air).

Once a bare-bones facility with no frills, the building is now bright and welcoming, with comfortable lounge areas for pilots. The second floor houses the Appleton location for the tailwind Flight Center, the largest Cessna Pilot Center in Wisconsin, featuring a state-of-the-art flight simulator.

Lenss and Sippola are continually coming up with fresh ways to promote the airport, from contests and prizes for charity events. We had a lot of fun tossing paper airplanes at Lenss for this month’s cover photo. Check out the digital version of Insight to see behind-the-scenes shots of how we got the look just right.

Also this month, we offer a glimpse of what to expect at this year’s new north summit, set for Friday, Dec. 3 in Oshkosh (see page 12). Watch for the New North Report to the Community, produced by Insight magazine, in the mail with your December issue.

Mickey Noone, president of First Business Bank– Northeast in Appleton, is our Face time subject. Did it ever occur to you that a bank could operate without cash? Check out his story (page 19). First Business Bank is gearing up to present the results of its annual economic survey, which will be revealed at the bank’s Economic survey Event on Dec. 16.

You won’t want to miss our digital magazine online this month, given our InForum on social media, a joint feature between Insight and Innovationedge (page 24). Led by Innovationedge President Cheryl Perkins, our panelists enjoyed a lively discussion in our conference room as they explored the question, “how do you use social media to leverage your business profile? Keeping with the spirit of the topic, we offer insights in a variety of platforms:

»   Click on the photos to see 1-minute takeaway videos from each panelist.
»   Click to hear a podcast of the entire InForum panel discussion.
»   Click to our Insight Facebook page to read a transcript of the InForum.
»   Click to our blog at to add your own insights.

We know that many of our readers are social media butterflies. There is no doubt that the sensibility of the curmudgeons and proud latecomers to new media can clash with them. Whatever side of the spectrum you’re on, I think you’ll be able to relate to our story, “technology killed bankers’ hours,” on page 47. And if you’re reading this on your smart phone in your car, at the dinner table or in a deer stand, take my advice: TURN IT OFF NOW!



Margaret LeBrun

About Margaret LeBrun

Co-Publisher, Executive Editor View all posts by Margaret LeBrun →